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Author: Kwok-Fai So (261)


Jan
2018

Letter from the Editors-In-Chief.

Neural Regen Res 2018 Jan;13(1):5-6
Kwok-Fai So, Xiao-Ming Xu

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Jan
2018

As an active component in wolfberry, lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) are capable of protecting retinal neurons in several animal disease models. Here, we asked whether LBP rescues the retinal morphology and function in rd1 mouse, a photoreceptor fast-degenerating animal model of retinitis pigmentosa, and in particular focused on LBP's effects on the function of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) during photoreceptor degeneration.
An equal volume of LBP or control vehicle was daily intraperitoneal (i.

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Jan
2018

The benefits of physical exercise on health and well-being have been studied in a wide range of systemic and ocular diseases, including glaucoma, a progressive optic neuropathy characterized by accelerated apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and insufficient ocular perfusion have been postulated to be the two main theories in glaucoma development and progression. The effects of exercise in these two aspects have been demonstrated by numerous researches.

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Mar
2018

Bipolar disorder (BD) has been associated with dysfunctional resting-state brain functioning. However, it is still not known whether the aberrant functioning occurs and predict cognitive functioning before illness onset.
We examined the resting-state regional and network dysfunctioning, and their correlates with neurocognitive performance, in the high-risk (HR) and ultra-high-risk (UHR) stages of bipolar disorder.

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Feb
2018

Immune responses and neuroinflammation are critically involved in spinal cord injury (SCI). γδ T cells, a small subset of T cells, regulate the inflammation process in many diseases, yet their function in SCI is still poorly understood. In this paper, we demonstrate that mice deficient in γδ T cells () showed improved functional recovery after SCI.

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Nov
2017

Rapidly approaching objects indicating threats can induce defensive response through activating a subcortical pathway comprising superior colliculus (SC), lateral posterior nucleus (LP), and basolateral amygdala (BLA). Abnormal defensive response has been reported in autism, and impaired synaptic connections could be the underlying mechanism. Whether the SC-LP-BLA pathway processes looming stimuli abnormally in autism is not clear.

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Sep
2017

Stem cell aging is a process in which stem cells progressively lose their ability to self-renew or differentiate, succumb to senescence or apoptosis, and eventually become functionally depleted. Unresolved oxidative stress and concomitant oxidative damages of cellular macromolecules including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates have been recognized to contribute to stem cell aging. Excessive production of reactive oxygen species and insufficient cellular antioxidant reserves compromise cell repair and metabolic homeostasis, which serves as a mechanistic switch for a variety of aging-related pathways.

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Dec
1969

Glutamate excitotoxicity plays an important role in neuronal death after ischemia. However, all clinical trials using glutamate receptor inhibitors have failed. This may be related to the evidence that activation of different subunit of NMDA receptor will induce different effects.

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Sep
2017

A hepatitis B virus (HBV) transgenic mice model was used to establish the fatty liver superimposed model by feeding the methionine choline-deficient (MCD) diet for 8 weeks, with or without the gavage of 2 mg/kg zeaxanthin dipalmitate (ZD) three times per week. Both wild-type and HBV transgenic mice, with MCD diet, gained typical non-obese non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and HBV symptoms. Coadministration with ZD exhibited evident therapeutic effects through alleviating those pathological events.

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Dec
1969

Effects of Lycium barbarum on the Visual System.

Int Rev Neurobiol 2017 27;135:1-27. Epub 2017 Mar 27.
Abby L Manthey, Kin Chiu, Kwok-Fai So
Lycium barbarum (wolfberry, gogi berry, gouqizi, ) is one of the most widely used Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) and is also one of the most scientifically studied. Indeed, the polysaccharide component of this berry (LBP) has been shown to have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antiexcitotoxic, and antiapoptotic properties. These properties make it a particularly useful treatment option for the ocular environment.

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Aug
2017

Cognitive impairments in bipolar patients deteriorate as the disorder progresses. Little is known about whether genetic risks impact cognitive recovery during the course from depression to remission. In this six-week open-label trial, we shed light on the impacts of six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the calcium voltage-gated channel subunit alpha1 C (CACNA1C) gene on cognitive recovery in 192 bipolar patients suffering a major depressive episode (MDE).

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Jul
2017

Hemangioendothelioma (HE) is a type of angiomatous lesions that features endothelial cell proliferation. Understanding the mechanisms orchestrating HE angiogenesis can provide therapeutic insights. It has been shown that platelets can support normal and malignant endothelial cells during angiogenesis.

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Sep
2017

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is one of the common drugs abused by adolescents. It is the active ingredient found in cough medicine which is used for suppressing cough. High dosage of DXM can induce euphoria, dissociative effects and even hallucinations.

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Mar
2017

Animals promote their survival by avoiding rapidly approaching objects that indicate threats. In mice, looming-evoked defensive responses are triggered by the superior colliculus (SC) which receives direct retinal inputs. However, the specific neural circuits that begin in the retina and mediate this important behaviour remain unclear.

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Sep
2017

Retinal ischaemia is a common feature shared by numerous eye diseases. Ischaemic insult leads to retinal dysfunction and neuronal death. Lycium barbarum polysaccharides are well known for eyesight preservation.

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Jul
2017

Detrimental effects of long-term inhalation of fine particulate matter (PM) on the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems have been widely reported. Recent studies have shown that exposure to PMalso causes adverse neurocognitive effects. This study investigates the effects of inhaled ammonium sulfate, which is a major compound of inorganic air pollutants in PM, on adult neurogenesis in aged Sprague-Dawley rats.

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Feb
2017

Although manganese (Mn) can enhance brain tissues for improving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessments, the underlying neural mechanisms of Mn detection remain unclear. In this study, we used Mn-enhanced MRI to test the hypothesis that different Mn entry routes and spatiotemporal Mn distributions can reflect different mechanisms of neural circuitry and neurodegeneration in normal and injured brains. Upon systemic administration, exogenous Mn exhibited varying transport rates and continuous redistribution across healthy rodent brain nuclei over a 2-week timeframe, whereas in rodents following photothrombotic cortical injury, transient middle cerebral artery occlusion, or neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, Mn preferentially accumulated in perilesional tissues expressing gliosis or oxidative stress within days.

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May
2017

Adding a free radical-scavenging nitrone moiety on tetramethylpyrazine, we have previously synthesized a chemical named 2-[[(1,1-dimethylethyl)oxidoimino]-methyl]-3,5,6-trimethylpyrazine (tetramethylpyrazine nitrone, or TBN) and proved its neuroprotective effect but with limited understanding of its mechanism. Here we ask if TBN protects retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against excitotoxicity induced by NMDA and explore the underlying mechanism. NMDA was intravitreally injected to induce RGC injury in rats, followed by daily intraperitoneal administrations of TBN.

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Jun
2017

Disease or trauma-induced loss or dysfunction of neurons in any central nervous system (CNS) tissue will have a significant impact on the health of the affected patient. The retina is a multilayered tissue that originates from the neuroectoderm, much like the brain and spinal cord. While sight is not required for life, neurodegeneration-related loss of vision not only affects the quality of life for the patient but also has societal implications in terms of health care expenditure.

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May
2017

Stem cell transplantation is a promising clinical strategy to cure acute liver failure. However, a low cell survival ratio after transplantation significantly impairs its therapeutic efficacy. This is partly due to insufficient resistance of transplanted stem cells to severe oxidative and inflammatory stress at the injury sites.

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Mar
2017

Our recent study demonstrates that adiponectin signaling plays a significant role in mediating physical exercise-exerted effects on hippocampal neurogenesis and antidepression in mice. Whether the findings can be translated to humans remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate the effects of Baduanjin Qigong exercise on adiponectin and to evaluate whether adiponectin is involved in the antidepressive effects of Qigong exercise on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)-like illness.

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Nov
2016

Epigenetic modulation is found to get involved in multiple neurobehavioral processes. It is believed that different types of environmental stimuli could alter the epigenome of the whole brain or related neural circuits, subsequently contributing to the long-lasting neural plasticity of certain behavioral phenotypes. While the maternal influence on the health of offsprings has been long recognized, recent findings highlight an alternative way for neurobehavioral phenotypes to be passed on to the next generation, i.

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Oct
2016

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating event that results in significant physical disabilities for affected individuals. Apart from local injury within the spinal cord, SCI patients develop a variety of complications characterized by multiple organ dysfunction or failure. These disorders, such as neurogenic pain, depression, lung injury, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, kidney dysfunction, urinary tract infection, and increased susceptibility to pathogen infection, are common in injured patients, hinder functional recovery, and can even be life threatening.

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Sep
2016

Acute liver disease is characterized by inflammation, oxidative stress and necrosis, which can greatly influence the long term clinical outcome and lead to liver failure or cancer. Here, we initially demonstrated the beneficial role of caspase-9-dependent autophagy in acute liver injury. Treatment with caspase-9 inhibitor z-LEHD-FMK in HepG2 cells, AML12 cells and C57BL/b6N mice exacerbated CCl4-induced acute hepatocellular damage, and also down-regulated autophagy markers expression levels, indicating that caspase-9 inhibition may aggravate acute liver damage by suppressing cytoprotective autophagy.

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Dec
1969

Our previous work has shown that exposure to the stress hormone corticosterone (40 mg/kg CORT) for two weeks induces dendritic atrophy of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA3 region and behavioral deficits. However, it is unclear whether this treatment also affects the dentate gyrus (DG), a subregion of the hippocampus comprising a heterogeneous population of young and mature neurons.
We examined the effect of CORT treatment on the dendritic complexity of mature and young granule cells in the DG.

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Jan
2017

Nine new phenylpropanoids, one new coumarin, and 43 known polyphenols were isolated from wolfberry. Their structures were determined by spectroscopic analyses, chemical methods, and comparison of NMR data. Polyphenols, an important type of natural products, are notable constituents in wolfberry.

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Dec
1969

Adult neurogenesis within the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus can be increased by voluntary exercise but is suppressed under stress, such as with corticosterone (CORT). However, the effects of exercise and CORT on the cell proliferation of the other traditional neurogenic site, the subventricular zone (SVZ), have been reported with controversial results. In addition, the cotreatment effects of voluntary exercise and CORT have not been investigated.

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Jun
2016

Short-read sequencing has enabled the de novo assembly of several individual human genomes, but with inherent limitations in characterizing repeat elements. Here we sequence a Chinese individual HX1 by single-molecule real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing, construct a physical map by NanoChannel arrays and generate a de novo assembly of 2.93 Gb (contig N50: 8.

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Jan
2017

To investigate the biological effects of different intraocular lens (IOL) materials on the adhesion, migration, morphology, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of human lens HLEB3 cells.
Human HLEB3 cells were seeded onto IOLs composed of four different materials (polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), silicone elastomer, hydrophilic acrylic, and hydrophobic acrylic). The levels of cellular adhesion, migration, morphology, and EMT were then quantified using a cell viability assay, scratch test, phase contrast microscopy, and immunofluorescence staining, respectively.

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Dec
1969

Injury to the central nervous system causes progressive degeneration of injured axons, leading to loss of the neuronal bodies. Neuronal survival after injury is a prerequisite for successful regeneration of injured axons. In this study, we investigated the effects of increased production of omega-3 fatty acids and elevation of cAMP on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and axonal regeneration after optic nerve (ON) crush injury in adult mice.

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Dec
1969

Frizzled3 (Fzd3), a member of the core planar cell polarity (PCP) family in mammals, contributes to visual development by guiding axonal projections of some retinal ganglion cells. However, its other functions in the maturation of the visual system, especially the retina, remain elusive. The present study explores the role of Fzd3 in retinal development by focusing on rod bipolar cells (RBCs).

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May
2016

The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), the major source of serotonergic input to the forebrain, receives excitatory input from the retina that can modulate serotonin levels and depressive-like behavior. In the Mongolian gerbil, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with alpha-like morphological and Y-like physiological properties innervate the DRN with ON DRN-projecting RGCs out numbering OFF DRN-projecting RGCs. The DRN neurons targeted by ON and OFF RGCs are unknown.

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Dec
1969

Celsr3 and Fzd3 regulate the development of reciprocal thalamocortical projections independently of their expression in cortical or thalamic neurons. To understand this cell non autonomous mechanism further, we tested whether Celsr3 and Fzd3 could act via Isl1-positive guidepost cells. Isl1-positive cells appear in the forebrain at embryonic day (E) 9.

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Dec
1969

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease which is characterised by elevated levels of autoantibodies and cytokines in the body. Via alteration of the regulation of inflammation, damage to different organ systems, including the central nervous system (CNS), was found in SLE patients. Patients diagnosed with SLE were reported to suffer from different kinds of psychiatric signs and symptoms.

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Dec
1969

Oxidative stress has been increasingly recognized as a major contributing factor in a variety of human diseases, from inflammation to cancer. Although certain parts of signaling pathways are still under investigation, detailed molecular mechanisms for the induction of diseases have been elucidated, especially the link between excessive oxygen reactive species (ROS) damage and tumorigenesis. Emerging evidence suggests anti-oxidant therapy can play a key role in treating those diseases.

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Apr
2016

Two ongoing phase II clinical trials (RENEW and SYNERGY) have been developed to test the efficacy of anti-LINGO-1 antibodies in acute optic neuritis and relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, respectively. Across a range of experimental models, LINGO-1 has been found to inhibit neuron and oligodendrocyte survival, axon regeneration, and (re)myelination. The therapeutic effects of anti-LINGO-1 antibodies on optic nerve axonal loss and regeneration have not yet been investigated.

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Dec
1969

Umbilical cord blood-derived mononuclear cell (UCB-MNC) transplants improve recovery in animal spinal cord injury (SCI) models. We transplanted UCB-MNCs into 28 patients with chronic complete SCI in Hong Kong (HK) and Kunming (KM). Stemcyte Inc.

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Sep
2016

Neuro-protective Mechanisms of Lycium barbarum.

Neuromolecular Med 2016 Sep 31;18(3):253-63. Epub 2016 Mar 31.
Xiwen Xing, Fenyong Liu, Jia Xiao, Kwok Fai So
Neuronal diseases, including retinal disorders, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury, affect a large number of people worldwide and cause heavy social and economic burdens. Although many efforts have been made by scientists and clinicians to develop novel drug and healthcare strategies, few of them received satisfactory outcomes to date. Lycium barbarum is a traditional homology of medicine and food in Chinese medicine, with the capability to nourish the eyes, liver and kidneys.

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Jan
2016

Optic nerve regeneration is an important area of research. It can be used to treat patients suffering from optic neuropathy and provides insights into the treatment of numerous neurodegenerative diseases. There are many hurdles impeding optic regeneration in mammals.

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Jan
2016


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Mar
2016

Fifteen new dicaffeoylspermidine derivatives, lycibarbarspermidines A-O (1-15), were isolated from the fruit of Lycium barbarum (wolfberry). The structures were unambiguously determined by spectroscopic analyses and chemical methods. Dicaffeoylspermidine derivatives, a rare kind of plant secondary metabolites, are primarily distributed in the family of Solanaceae.

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Dec
2015

Lycium barbarum is a widely used Chinese herbal medicine prescription for protection of optic nerve. However, it remains unclear regarding the effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides, the main component of Lycium barbarum, on in vivo proliferation of adult ciliary body cells. In this study, adult rats were intragastrically administered low- and high-dose Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (1 and 10 mg/kg) for 35 days and those intragastrically administered phosphate buffered saline served as controls.

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Feb
2016

Microglia are the mononuclear phagocytes with various functions in the central nervous system, and the morphologies of microglia imply the different stages and functions. In optical nerve transection model of the retina, the retrograde degeneration of retinal ganglion cells induces microglial activations to a unique morphology termed rod microglia. A few studies described the rod microglia in the cortex and retina; however, the spatial characteristic of rod microglia is not fully understood.

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Nov
2015

The in vivo neural activity of the pons during the perception of affective stimuli has not been studied despite the strong implications of its role in affective processing. To examine the activity of the pons during the viewing of affective stimuli, and to verify its functional and structural connectivity with other affective neural correlates, a multimodal magnetic resonance imaging methodology was employed in this study. We observed the in vivo activity of the pons when viewing affective stimuli.

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Dec
2015

A retinal projection into the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), namely, the retino-raphe projection, exists in many species. The rat is one of several species in which a retino-raphe projection has been described; however, the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types that contribute to this pathway are unknown.
Retrograde tracing via cholera toxin subunit B (CTB) was used to reveal DRN-projecting RGCs in rats, combined with intracellular injection in vitro, melanopsin immunostaining in whole-mounted retinas, and serotonin immunostaining to define the DRN.

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Dec
1969

Physical exercise has long been recognized to benefit locomotor and cardiovascular systems. Although an increasing body of evidence also suggests it to be an effective non-medicinal remedy for mental disorders such as depression, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. A recent study has demonstrated that increases of the adipocyte-secreted hormone adiponectin in the central nervous system following exercise may be responsible for these neuropsychological changes, including enhanced generation of neurons in the adult hippocampus, as well as mitigation of depressive severity.

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Aug
2015

Validating the high-risk (HR) and ultra-high-risk (UHR) stages of bipolar disorder (BP) may help enable early intervention strategies.
We followed up with 44 offspring of parents with BP, subdividing into the HR and UHR categories. The offspring were aged 8-28 years and were free of any current DSM-IV diagnoses.

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